Halifax 4 Featherstone 24: Clinical defensive display enables Rovers to enjoy sweet revenge

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FEATHERSTONE Rovers overhauled Halifax at the top of the Championship with a crushing triumph built on a brutal defensive performance.

Daryl Powell’s side, who went into the game a point behind Karl Harrison’s leaders, dominated the contest to gain revenge for their astonishing 60-point home defeat in May.

It was the visitors who set the early pace, taking a third-minute lead through the former Halifax scrum-half Liam Finn, who slid over next to the posts and then got up to kick the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

Halifax thought they had equalised on the quarter hour, but loose forward Sam Barlow’s try was ruled out for offside.

Instead, it was Rovers who edged further ahead when the former Hull FC loose forward Matty Dale twisted over to the left of the posts, Finn again adding the extras to establish a 12-0 advantage.

Halifax went to close to scoring again through winger Wayne Reittie, but Rovers looked like going to the break two scores clear until Reittie obliged with an injury-time touchdown, taking a sharp pass from Sean Penkywicz to glide over in the corner.

Centre Lee Paterson’s conversion attempt drifted wide, leaving Featherstone leading 12-4 at the break.

Halifax began the second half brightly, but it was Rovers who scored on their first foray into enemy territory, hooker Andy Ellis slipping past three defenders and Finn kicking the conversion for a 18-4 lead.

Rovers shut the game down after that, eventually sealing their victory with a kick and chase try from the centre Greg Worthington.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Worrincy, Tyrer, Paterson, Reittie; Handforth, Thackeray; Hesketh, Penkywicz, Ambler, Manning, Robinson, Barlow. Substitutes: Bowman, Aizue, Ashall, Gannon

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Briscoe, Smeaton, Worthington, Saxton; Kain, Finn; Lockwood, Kaye, Dickens, Grayshon, Spears, Dale. Substitutes: Ellis, Bostock, Haley, Maloney

Referee: M Thomason (RFL).